Friday, 5 March 2010
Drawing on Sculpture: Graphic Interventions on the photographic surface.
Extracts from above essay by Jon Wood. Published by Henry Moore Institute/Essays on sculpture.
"The photograph always carries its referent with itself ... it belongs to that class of laminated objects whose leaves cannot be separated without destroying them both" (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (1980) London, Vintage, 2000 p.5-6)
"Like Vermeiren, Bernard Meadows turned to drawing on Photographs of his sculpture to recontextualise them within the studio and provide them with different settings. As well as using black pen and ink on his monochrome studio photographs, he would also use white paint to block out the studio background in order to emphasise a sculpture's outline and overall silhouetted image. Black ink and white paint were also used by him repetitively to create and emphasise the internal and external shadows of a sculpture or to exaggerate its highlights where light had caught a work's surface. Meadows, like Henry Moore would often use photography (and also later the photocopier for Meadows) several times within this process of highlighting and shadowing, photographing a photograph that had already been drawn over and then drawing over the reproduction again. ... The surface of the photograph acquires a luminous depth through them, in which different kinds of over-drawing and over-painting can just be discerned, each made at different stages and each sealed intact, as accumulated layers, within the surface of the photograph. Such layering suggests that the beginning and end of a work, explored in this way, is very difficult to define. What is pencil drawing, what photographed line and what photocopies line can be difficult to judge. And each overdrawing leads into another in ways that erase the idea of the original as a meaningful artistic category. Whereas Rodin's over-drawings seem to carry authorial weight, Meadow's accumulated layers of re-workings have the effect of disconnecting the authorial one-to-one relationship between artist and work, blurring the distinctions between the hand-made and the copied."
"Didier Vermeiren, who has a collection of historic photographs of sculpture, has been preoccupied with the relationship not only between sculpture and photography, but also between sculpture and the plinth, for many years. When Vermeiren has drawn on photographs of his sculpture he seems to explore both these concerns together on the same sheet. His "Untitled" drawing on photograph with collage of 1997 is a good example of this (Fig.6). In a gesture of multiple staging, Vermeiren provides his sculpture with a new hand-drawn base and, as if to emphasise the surface existaence of this intervention, has both drawn over the edge of the photograph and added some tape to the work and then drawn over that. Such photographs not only explore the relationship between sculpture, photography and plinth, but also the studio as the venue for this relationship. For the studio is where this ensemble was staged, documented and interpreted, and is a venue which in turn becomes part of this photo-drawing's subject."